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Rose awakens in a fairytale land, stripped of her memories and any sense of self she might once have possessed. Facing a short life of brutal servitude as one of the May Queen's executioners, she chooses instead a reckless dash for freedom alongside her sister-captive, Lavender. Yet even if the two women manage to flee the otherworld to return earthside, they may never be safe from the reach of cruel faeries who seek to use them as pawns in a deadly game.
When a strange silver man calling himself Clarent unexpectedly dumps out onto the doorstep of their apartment, Rose and Lavender will work together with a diverse community of survivors in order to stay alive and free. Through the magical dangers that assault them on all sides, Rose must navigate the struggles brought on by her painful past while contending with the difficulty of forging an intimate relationship with the two people who love her most when her very body is lethal.
Overcoming peril w unique strengths
Fantasy stories often show faery realms as gentle and sweet. But in the world of "Poison Kiss" the fae are cruel and uncaring. Subject to the fairies' murderous whims, otherworldly captivity has left the altered humans with frightening memories and strange, sometimes deadly magic powers.
This book's protagonist and her friends all struggle to heal and to help one another. Though they have lost most memories of human life, the brave and resourceful group survive by appreciating one another's diverse identities and wide array of talents. Some fight with arrows or a poisonous kiss. Others heal, help the newly returned re-integrate with the workaday world, or share their knowledge to defend against mysterious foes. Finding friendship and romance in the midst of the chaos is a whole other adventure. Though the perils are different the stakes are no less high!
The main characters' struggles with trauma, mental illness, and relationship boundaries are very true to life. But the magical mayhem which pursues them with mounting intensity is a fresh take on several classic high fantasy themes. Super satisfying read.